There are certain people in your life that make an immediate impression. Morris is that kind of person. He has a big personality and can always be found surrounded by friends. Morris has always been a popular person.
As a child, Morris was blessed with a loving family but it all fell apart in one night. Morris’ family home caught on fire. Unaware of the fire, he heard people yelling, “Morris, your house is on fire!” He kept playing basketball because his friends used to joke and exaggerate all the time.
Eventually, he went home to see his burning house and his mother in the garden pointing at him in anger. Morris saw in that instant that she blamed the fire on him. He thought of the jail that he knew from TV and started running. He ran straight into the Center City street life.
“I fell in love with the street,” Morris conveys unapologetically. As a naturally outgoing person, Morris discovered that selling drugs was a surprisingly easy job. Over time, the name Morris faded away as he was more commonly referred to by his street name “Noodles.” The name stuck because, even when Morris was living a dangerous life, he was always joking around and having fun.
After almost twenty years on the street, Morris chose to leave behind his old life as Noodles. Morris expounds that, “Once I joined the Program, God taught me to be careful about how people name you. I took my name back and broke away from my old life. I am responsible for who I want to be.”
Morris used to live right outside of Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission on Pearl Street. “I was eating here but didn’t care about what was going on. So then I finally actually listened and found out what Sunday Breakfast was really about but I couldn’t stay here because I loved the streets. My spirit and self were fighting and myself kept winning. Finally, God put something in my life to slow me down and I had to pay attention to Him. On September 16th, 2013, God got my attention and I came inside to stay – I didn’t look back.”
The transition wasn’t easy for Morris. He wasn’t used to organized days and did not want to follow instructions. While in the program, Morris lost his privileges at least four times but now he believes that “I grew each and every one of those times. I thank God for doing that and helping me grow. Only now, after I graduated, do I see that this really worked.”
Morris has graduated from the program and is starting his independent life as he moves into a new apartment. Still invested in the Mission, Morris volunteers by leading chapel and lending a hand whenever needed. “I know that there is nothing that is going to turn me back because God has rid me of the stronghold that substance abuse had on my life.” Living a changed life is a daily struggle but Morris is willing to fight for his new life.